In a last gasp attempt to ‘fire up the troops’ before Election Day, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli spoke to a crowd of supporters in Henrico County on Saturday, claiming his campaign has the “momentum.”
According to Cuccinelli, “If we win Henrico, the odds are pretty darn good we win this race. I need you all to push that through for me.” And one wonders why Cuccinelli is so far behind in the polls… By Cuccinelli’s reasoning, winning one county in Virginia makes the odds “pretty darn good” to win the election for governor. Last I checked, however, Henrico County is not the sine qua non of gubernatorial elections in Virginia.
But besides the typically hyperbolic or untruthful statements of Ken Cuccinelli, the most interesting aspect of the event was the fact that only one Virginia legislator was present on Saturday, Del. John O’Bannon. Other careerist Republicans that were in the crowd were “local Republican Party organizers and a healthy contingent of lawyers who work with Cuccinelli at the Attorney General’s Office.”
As the polls continue to show a comfortable lead for Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, some Republicans have already started to ask how they could have lost an election that was theirs to win (of course, this assumption is itself questionable). And as political consultants, pundits, and average Virginians weigh in on the factor(s) that led to Cuccinelli’s demise, it’s clear that a number of complex factors came into play that forced Cuccinelli’s political star into the dimming background of political irrelevance.
Above all, Cuccinelli was first and foremost his own worst enemy. Not one to hold his tongue or principles, Cuccinelli fell into the image trap that the Democratic Party laid for him as quickly as it was set. Instead of eschewing some of the more radical policies that he advocated to win over the so-called tea party, Cuccinelli stayed to the right of the political spectrum and alienated a number of ‘independent’ Virginia voters.
For all of the criticisms I can lay at Virginia’s feet, Virginia has consistently proven to be a moderate state that is not a hotbed for radical political movements from either end of the political range. Cuccinelli, apparently, never gleaned this and his campaign will no doubt be used in the future as a case study for how not to run a campaign for governor in Virginia.